Marital Bless Parenting 101

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I was first going to title this post so that it only addressed our sleeping situation, but really I've never addressed our parenting style, in which the way we sleep is only a small portion!

To this day, I haven't cracked open a parenting book, which is neither something I'm proud of nor ashamed of, it's just a fact. While I was pregnant I got through month 6 or so of my Pregnancy Week by Week and flipped through a copy of my friend's Happiest Baby on the Block. That my friends is the extent of my book knowledge.

When Isaac was born Tony and I just did what came naturally to us, with a lot of trial and error. It was only after perusing thebump and stumbling upon the Attachment Parenting board that I realized there was an actual term, let alone movement behind many of the choices we had made. I actually laughed at the term, all sorts of odd visions conjured in my mind's eye of it's definition. One quick glance at the post titles though stopped me quick, "Hey!" I thought, "That's me."

There was a name for the natural birthing, breast feeding, cloth diapering, baby wearing, bed-sharing, delayed vaxing type of parenting that we thought we had just made up! There are many components to Attachment Parenting, but to be clear I won't claim them all. To me Attachment Parenting is simply what most closely identifies with the choices we have made for the best of our family. Because I'll write it once, I'll say it a thousand times: There are very few instances in a solid right or wrong choice (ie child abuse or similar nature), there are many instances of making the right choice specifically for your child or your family. Unfortunately many people can't bear the thought of not being right and are zealous about converting "bad parents," no matter what the parenting style is.

My friend Kristal did a great job summarizing their AP stance and I couldn't agree more with her comments. If you stop by congratulate her on her new status as a new SAHM! Most of what she's written is exactly how we approached much of Isaac's infancy.

Almost all of our decisions related to AP have been positive and it's only recently that bed-sharing has been on the fence. As with most of our parenting choices, I didn't have much of an opinion until I found myself in the situation. Isaac slept in his bassinet/pack and play from our first night home and eventually began sleeping through the night (5+ hours) at 3 months. The two months between 3 and 5 were glorious and then . . . right at 5 months, I wrote this post detailing Isaac's sudden decision to no longer sleep through the night, er ever, unless it was in our bed. And that was that. We no longer attempted to put him down for the night and I just nursed him to sleep. I slept, Tony slept, Isaac slept = win, win, win. It has continued in this vein for almost 8 months, until I got the harebrained notion that Isaac needed to get out. Soon. As the last few posts have shown though, neither Tony or I are ready and Isaac especially is not! Isaac either sleeps in the crook of my arm on the outside of the bed, without a guardrail or in between Tony and I. Tony from day one has been very aware of Isaac and I've always been comfortable when Isaac is between us. I wouldn't suggest going without the guardrails, but we were too cheap to buy them and have done just fine without! If we do co-sleep with our 2nd we will for sure get a special sleeper or we will just wait until they are older as we did with Isaac. I am uncomfortable bed-sharing freely with a child less than 5 months as that was my experience.

Breastfeeding was definitely a decision that I chose to pursue with absolute dedication. I was blessed to produce for my child, but there were several weeks/months in which it was an absolute battle to maintain. There were several supplements and cravings for pancakes due to my overwhelming syrup odor, but I fought through it and made it to well, now, past my 12 month goal!

My concentration has really deteriorated in this post, I'm sorry! But I just wanted to put my $.02 in where we fall on the spectrum and that ultimately we as mother's should just support each other. We all make different decisions, but honestly there are very few wrong ones. We are all just making the best choices that we can, which is how Isaac ended up in our bed!


Anonymous said...

Great post and I couldn't agree more on your last point - any mom making the best decisions for her family is a great mom. :)

Oh, and I LOL'ed at the pancake cravings. ;)

Jen @ RamblingRenovators said...

We too fall on the AP side of the spectrum. And like you, we came about it by following our instincts and doing what felt right for our family. I believe that no matter your parenting style if your children are loved and you act in their best interest, you are doing your job as a parent. Keep doing what you're doing Leah because even on this side of the screen I can tell Isaac is a happy, thriving little boy.

Firehouse mama said...

I have some AP tendencies and some whatever works for us tendencies but I want to encourage you to keep up with your instincts. My son has NEVER been a good sleeper, you can find all my desperate posts about it on my blog (if you can handle some profanity and absolute sheer desperation) and then you can kinda see my ah ha moment about sleep...granted I was lingerinf in left over untreated PPD and needed to clear that up prior to fixing our sleep issues but I have mostly fixed them...don't stress it. Live in the moment...bc we bot know that one days these days are gonna be gone :(

ezza said...

Amen sista! To each his own!!

Kelsey said...

I've decided to label my parenting style, "Go with your gut" parenting and I'm pleased to see that you and Tony have agreed on a style that works for your family. ;)

Not being a cosleeping family, I have a stupid question. Does this mean that to get Isaac to nap, you have to nap? And does this also mean that he doesn't go to bed until you do?

When Drew was born, Andy and I quickly realized that to keep our marriage--and by extension our family--strong, we needed our bedroom to be a space for US. :) (This is obviously NOT to say that this is necessary for others to keep their relationships strong; that's just how it is for us.)

Sarah Louise said...

Going with what just comes naturally to you- I think that sounds like a great way to approach parenting!

Randine said...

You know we are pretty AP. Although I still have a LOT to work on. Im glad its working out for you guys :)


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